Working towards the purchase of your very first condo is an exciting time. It is a different adventure than purchasing a house, but still a significant undertaking in the pursuit of a place to own and call home. To help ensure you are buying the right condo for you and to help make the purchase process a bit less stressful, we have outlined some tips to keep in mind along the way.
What Should a First Time Buyer Consider Before Purchasing a Condo?
Buying a condo has unique considerations to keep in mind that are different when you are purchasing a house. There are common areas to consider, condo rules, maintenance responsibility and protocol, and so much more to address during the condo-buying process. If you are first time buyer and are on the lookout for the perfect condo, be mindful of the following to help ensure a positive experience:
- Loan application: The process for obtaining a condo mortgage will differ from that of a house. This is especially true if you are hoping to secure a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan. FHA loan requirements for condos are specific and stringent. The building must be on an approved list. Additionally, 80 percent of the condos in the building must have their owners currently living in them. FHA loan applications will be denied if there are too many renters in the building. The number of people renting in the building should be something you consider regardless of your loan status. Many people are uneasy when more renters than owners live in a building. Renters do not have the same vested interest in upkeep as owners usually do.
- Condo Rules and Fees: Be sure to check rules of the condo. The building may prohibit pets. It may also prevent you from ever subleasing your condo. Some buildings may even enforce quiet hours. With many people sharing a building, these rules are meant to help everyone live in harmony, but they may not fit your particular lifestyle. The condo association will likely also require things like maintenance fees to be paid by all owners for things like maintenance and upkeep of condo common areas.
- Get a feel of what it is like to live there: One of the best ways to do this is to review the minutes of condo association meetings. These minutes will show things like what people in the building have been reporting and complaints filed against neighbors. If there have been problems with noisy neighbors or things like crime, the meeting minutes will reflect this. Additionally, it is a good idea to make a few trips to the building to check out things like parking and location. Readily accessible parking can be a huge benefit and having it can avoid more than a few headaches. Taking a stroll through the surrounding neighborhood at various days and times can also give you a feel for the kind of neighborhood you would be moving into.
Sound Legal Counsel to Guide You Through Life’s Big Real Estate Purchases
Buying a new home, whether it be a house or a condo, is both a very exciting and a very stressful time. It is a big decision with a substantial amount of money involved. At M&A Law Firm, we help our clients through these important real estate transactions and make sure that they are making the right choices for themselves, their families, and their futures. Contact M&A Law Firm, P.C. today. We proudly serve Cook County and Skokie, Illinois.